This homely expression aptly describes the state of mind of many of us in this region as we contemplate the spectre of a recession, rising local unemployment and disturbing moves by a new administration in Washington.
We are no longer feeling expansive. We reserve our personal optimism for local efforts to keep our community operating and to promote buying locally wherever possible. Neighbors are helping each other with everything from firewood to food and are finding ways to do business with each other at every opportunity.
We are doing what we can to hold things together until the general economy improves. Basically we are working on the things we can directly affect and are staying positive regarding the things we can actually control. We are trying not to lose sleep over the many things that we cannot control, but we are staying informed so that we will know how to make our vote count in the next election.
The current Washington, DC free for all has produced a trillion dollar porkfest that our children and grandchildren will not appreciate. There appears to be little that will actually create jobs other than in government positions.
We are told that this porkfest will save us from a frightening recession by paying off every political favor owed by the incoming administration. We will have to see, won't we?
In the absence of evidence to the contrary, ordinary citizens conclude that prolonged exposure to Washington DC corruption is contagious and that a change of faces may be in order in the House and Senate.
Meanwhile, on the home front, some businesses are seeing a slight increase in orders after a dark and truly frightening last quarter. This new business may not be adequate to qualify as business as usual, but up is up and every order represents a vote of confidence that the sun will keep coming up and the doors will stay open a while longer.
I am seeing increased efforts to provide better customer experience by every merchant and large corporation I do business with. The light has gone on and business owners and employees at every level seem to be doing everything possible to ensure that I will he happy doing business with them.
When there are fewer customers with money for your products or services, it makes good sense to make those customers feel special so they will spread the word about their experiences.
At the same time, it makes sense to keep expenses to a minimum and avoid any expenditure that will not provide a return on the investment. Whether one is a business owner or a homeowner/consumer, money should be allocated mainly to those things which will keep the business and your family alive and well.
Hunker down: To take shelter, settle in, or hide out. Usually used with down: hunkered down in the cabin during the blizzard. We are hunkering down in Floyd County Virginia and staying guardedly optimistic about the future.